|Full name||Alexander Scott Gilbey|
|Date of birth||9 December 1994|
|Place of birth||Dagenham, London, England|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Frinton & Walton Youth|
|2013||→ Newport County||5||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:14, 9 May 2016 (UTC).
Alexander Scott "Alex" Gilbey (born 9 December 1994) is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Wigan Athletic. Gilbey progressed through the Colchester United Academy, breaking into the first-team in 2012. He featured for Newport County on loan during 2013 when the club achieved promotion back to the Football League via the Conference play-offs. He made over 120 appearances for Colchester before joining Wigan in June 2016.
Born in Dagenham, London, Gilbey grew up in Colchester, Essex, where he attended the Gilberd School. As a youth, he played for Frinton & Walton Youth, before joining and progressing through the Academy at Colchester United, where he was youth team captain. He embarked on his two-year scholarship with the club in 2011 and signed his first professional contract only one year into his scholarship, penning a two-and-a-half year deal in February 2012.
Gilbey received his first taste of first-team action during the 2011–12 campaign pre-season. He scored in a friendly against Woodbridge Town on 20 July 2011, opening the scoring in a 4–1 victory. Seven days later, Gilbey grabbed four goals as a youthful U's thrashed Whitton United 6–2. He played for the under-18s alongside featuring in the club's Essex Senior Cup squads, scoring in their 3–1 fourth round win against cup-holders Billericay Town on 9 November.
Following another pre-season mixing with the senior squad, Gilbey made his professional debut on 9 October 2012 in a Football League Trophy match at Northampton Town, where he came on as a half-time substitute for Marcus Bean. The game ended in a 2–1 loss for Colchester, with Gilbey giving away a penalty from which Northampton scored. He had to wait until 8 December for his next taste of first-team football when he came on as a substitute in a 2–0 home defeat to Oldham Athletic. He replaced Andrew Bond after 70 minutes to make his Football League debut. He missed Colchester's next fixture against Bournemouth with an ankle injury, adding to manager Joe Dunne's injury woes, but returned to make his first senior start in Colchester's clash with Brentford on Boxing Day. The U's lost the encounter 3–1, but Dunne praised the efforts of his youthful starting eleven, although Gilbey was taken off after only 13 minutes in a tactical substitution following defender Josh Thompson's dismissal early in the game. He made his final appearance of the 2012–13 season for the club in Colchester's 2–1 home defeat to Scunthorpe United on 12 January 2013, playing the full 90 minutes.
Newport County loan
Having not featured for the Colchester first-team since mid-January, Gilbey joined Conference Premier side Newport County on 27 March 2013 on loan until the end of the season 2012–13 season to aid their promotion push. He was named in the squad that travelled to Gateshead on 28 March, but was an unused substitute. He made his debut in County's next fixture on 30 March, another 0–0 draw, on this occasion at home to Dartford, where Gilbey was replaced by Christian Jolley after 57 minutes.
In the wake of his debut, Gilbey featured in a further four of Newport's seven remaining fixtures of the season, which included a late appearance from the bench at home to Braintree Town on 9 April, a 1–0 win which secured the club a play-off place; a start in County's 4–1 home victory against Macclesfield Town on 11 April; a further start on 13 April in a 2–0 win over Alfreton Town; and an appearance in a disappointing 3–0 away defeat to Grimsby Town on 20 April, a result which meant that the two sides would face each other in the play-off semi-finals.
In the play-off semi-finals, Gilbey helped his side to 1–0 wins in the first and second legs, setting up an all-Welsh final clash with Wrexham. Gilbey provided the pass for Christian Jolley's goal during the second leg fixture. Gilbey was named man of the match for his performance in the second leg, and described the opportunity to play at Wembley as "a dream come true". On 5 May 2013, Gilbey was a member of the starting eleven as Newport took on Wrexham at Wembley. He played for the full 90 minutes as County defeated their counterparts 2–0 to return to the Football League after a 25-year absence with promotion to League Two. Gilbey completed his loan spell with a play-off winners medal and eight appearances to his name as he returned to his parent club.
Following his successful loan spell with Newport, Gilbey returned to the first-team picture with Colchester for the 2013–14 season and was involved in the U's opening game 1–0 win over Gillingham on 3 August 2013, replacing Marcus Bean after 74 minutes. He made his first start of the campaign in the following game, a 5–1 League Cup thrashing by Peterborough United on 6 August. Gilbey was replaced by Sanchez Watt on 65 minutes when the U's were 2–1 down. He was utilised as a substitute in his next three games, a 1–0 win at home to Port Vale, a 1–1 home draw with Carlisle United and a 2–1 home loss to Leyton Orient. He then made only his second start of the season in the Football League Trophy clash with Dagenham & Redbridge on 3 September, a 4–1 defeat for Colchester. After this point, Gilbey began to cement his name in Joe Dunne's starting eleven, starting five days later in midfield for an injury ravaged U's side for a trip to Coventry City. United lost the match 2–0, but it gave Dunne plenty of positives to take away, where fellow youth product Tosin Olufemi featured and Mason Spence experienced his first taste of league football.
Having tied down teammates Tosin Olufemi and Drey Wright to long-term contracts, Colchester looked to do the same with Gilbey, offering him an extension to his deal which was due to expire in the summer of 2014. However, Gilbey rejected the initial offer, reportedly alerting a number of Championship clubs to the situation following his impressive start to the season and his successful stint with Newport. Despite this, Gilbey started in Colchester's next game, a 2–2 draw with Bradford City on 14 September. Manager Dunne urged Gilbey to reconsider the offer of the ability-based contract, the same offer that had been accepted by his teammates Olufemi and Wright, in which pay is increased after every ten games played for the club. Gilbey then quelled the speculation by pointing out that he wished to stay with Colchester and that he was happy working under Dunne, having featured in the starting eleven for a number of matches in the early stages of the 2013–14 season.
Having become a regular for the U's and making 37 senior appearances, Gilbey penned a two-and-a-half year contract extension on 16 January 2014, tying him to the club until summer 2016. He revealed that boss Joe Dunne was a major influence in his decision to sign the contract, and that Dunne's belief in him was proven by his regular role in the first-team picture. Despite signing the contract, Gilbey did not start a match for Colchester between December and March, when he made a pivotal return to the starting eleven for a 1–0 victory against Shrewsbury Town, providing the assist for Jabo Ibehre's match-winning goal. Shortly afterward, Gilbey scored his first professional goal in Colchester's 4–2 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on 25 March, finding the back of the net with a header to reduce the U's deficit to 3–1 after 58 minutes.
Gilbey ended the season with 39 appearances across all competitions in addition to his goal against Wolves. As a result, Gilbey was awarded with the Colchester United "Young Player of the Year" accolade at the club's annual end of season awards dinner in May 2014.
Prior to the 2014–15 season kicking-off, Gilbey was mooted as a replacement captain for the outgoing Brian Wilson in July 2014. Before the announcement was made however, Gilbey suffered a shin injury during Colchester's 3–0 friendly defeat to Ipswich Town, being forced off at half-time. He quickly returned from injury as the U's suffered a 2–0 defeat to Bishop's Stortford on 31 July.
Gilbey started Colchester's first match of the season in the centre of midfield for their home clash with Oldham Athletic on 9 August, playing for the duration of the match as the U's were held to a 2–2 draw. On hearing the news of Joe Dunne's departure as manager of Colchester United following a disappointing beginning to the campaign, Gilbey said that he was left "devastated" by Dunne's exit, but said that he "couldn't have wished for a better appointment" following Academy manager Tony Humes' promotion to first-team manager. Gilbey described Dunne, the person who handed him his professional debut, as "a big influence on me both on and off the pitch". On 16 September, Gilbey contributed to Colchester's downfall in their 3–2 loss to Sheffield United at the Colchester Community Stadium when he conceded a penalty in the 88th minute while the score was 2–2. The U's had already relinquished a two-goal cushion just five minutes earlier, and the unlucky Gilbey had clattered the post with a powerful shot in the fifth minute. He scored his second Colchester goal and his first of the season with a 25-yard shot to level scores at 2–2 in the U's eventual 4–2 defeat to Preston North End on 4 October. He then added to his tally on 9 November in Colchester's 6–3 FA Cup first round win over Gosport Borough. Gilbey finished with a deflected shot following a fine solo run from his own half to give the U's a 4–1 advantage going into the break.
Ahead of the 2015–16 season, Gilbey was named as vice-captain to Chris Porter on 21 July 2015. In his first appearance of the season, Gilbey scored an equalising volleyed goal to level the score at 1–1 in an eventual 2–2 draw with Blackpool on 8 August. He made his 100th appearance for Colchester United on 12 December, captaining the side until Porter's introduction as a second-half substitute during their 3–2 defeat to Barnsley at the Community Stadium. He scored his second goal of the season on 19 January 2016 in Colchester's 1–1 home draw with Fleetwood Town.
Following comments by Colchester manager Kevin Keen that Gilbey would "be a Premier League player" in two or three years, it was reported that the club had rejected a bid for Gilbey from Championship side Bristol City on 22 January. After further contact between the two clubs, Colchester offered Gilbey an improved contract on 28 January. He was sent off for the first time in his career on 6 February during Colchester's 3–0 Essex derby defeat to Southend United for a challenge on Ryan Leonard.
After no ground had been made on Gilbey's contract offer, Keen admitted that he "very much doubt[ed]" that Gilbey would sign a new deal with the club. Gilbey remarked that he would "put it to the back" of his mind with his main focus being on "playing well and keeping Colchester in the league". He scored his third goal of the season on 12 March during a 3–3 draw at home to Wigan Athletic. He doubled his previous season-best goal tally on 19 March with a headed goal in Colchester's 2–1 defeat to Walsall at the Bescot Stadium, before adding his third goal in three games during Colchester's 4–1 win over Doncaster Rovers on 25 March. After scoring five goals in 42 appearances, Gilbey was named as Colchester's Player of the Year at the club's End of Season award ceremony on 13 May. He was offered a new contract to remain with the club at the end of the season.
- As of match played 8 May 2016.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Colchester United||2012–13||League One||3||0||0||0||0||0||1[a]||0||4||0|
|Newport County (loan)||2013–13||Conference Premier||5||0||–||–||3[b]||0||8||0|
- Newport County
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